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Author Topic: Larger Font Please  (Read 26145 times)
paulbk
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« on: September 15, 2005, 06:42:33 PM »
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Is it possible to use a larger font with higher contrast for the discusion board, especially the opening forums screen (Forum Titles and Thread Topics)?

I am old. To add insult to injury I run my monitors at 1600x1200 which makes the Forum Titles and Thread Topics blurry thin lines of low contrast text against a dirty grey background. To Michael’s credit he uses a much larger font and a higher contrast motif on the main site (white text over black).
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paul b. kramarchyk
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2005, 06:52:10 PM »
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Paul, I think most browsers have a View:Text Size:Increase option (usu. Command/Option +).
Using Mozilla's Firefox or Apple's Safari this certainly works for my nearsightedness  :cool:

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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2005, 07:19:01 PM »
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Yes, you can increase the font size that way, but my browser has good sized text on all sizes but this one. If I make it large enough for this one, it's too large for any other site. I read using Firefox and shoot multiple threads into tabs and then read them, so changes in one tab don't carry over to another...
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neilcowley
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2005, 09:24:17 PM »
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clear your cache so the new CSS style is applied

The text size has been changed from pixels to points, should help with cross browser compatibility as well as screen resolution independant display.  Also increased the size by one point.

Changed the text color to full black - that's all the contrast I can give you there.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 12:05:44 AM »
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In the spirit of consistency, could the topic title/subtitle size be changed to match the username of the topic starter/last poster?
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Ray
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2005, 12:14:54 AM »
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Absolutely! The topic titles are still too small.
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paulbk
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2005, 04:26:59 AM »
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Thanks Neil. Much better.

Now.. if you can address Jonathan and Ray’s comment above regarding the title/subtitle screen, we all be happy.

Chris -- I know a lot of people like Firefox. I tried it, it’s just not a good fit on my machine. I use Microsoft Explorer on my XP Pro machine. Much faster, more refined/professional, less clunky.
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paul b. kramarchyk
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2005, 02:40:05 AM »
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Much faster, more refined/professional, less clunky.
lol, tell that to a web developer and he'll flip! IE is a major PIA to code for. Security dudes will also inform you that IE is rittled with security holes (it is in fact the biggest source for malware infections).

I used FF extensively on the PC and it's slower in speed to start but overall it performs equally well or better than IE. IE has a tendency to go cross-eyed and just slow down quite a bit when trying to connect to sites when it shouldn't. FF never did that to me.

Opera is one to try if you are a fan of the Snapy™ but it's a bit more cluttered than IE...

Safari is my current fav. but it's Mac only. I still use FF for web dev due to many useful extensions.


If you use FF, there is an extension (forget the name) that lets you modify a sites design via CSS and javascript. Each time you visit that site it'll automatically load that custom alteration you made/downloaded. There is also something like that for Safari called Stand. I haven't tried either one yet so I can't speak for how well they work or how much work they take to implement.

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Absolutely! The topic titles are still too small.
Quoted text is itsy-bitsy too.

I wonder if...
Code:
<code rel="test">
Yup, code text is small too.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2005, 08:24:40 AM »
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Internet Explorer is by far the most commonly used web browder on the internet, so whatever its warts, web designers must cater for it as best they can.

There are three areas for possible improvement of the font on this Forum: it isn't black enough, the letters are too thin and they are a bit sandwiched together. According to my Word program it is Tahoma 7.5. Converting it to something that everyone has and is very readable - such as Times New Roman 12 - would be considerably easier on the eyes.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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paulbk
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2005, 10:11:20 AM »
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re: IE.. “tell that to a web developer and he'll flip”

As I said above, IE is faster, more refined, and far less clunky. If you can’t write for IE, by definition -- you are NOT a web designer. You are a self appointed hacker (read amateur). FF has some good features, speed and plug & play stability are not among them. I use an XP Pro machine. Maybe FF is more a MAC thing.

Security - I use a router and firewall. Never had a security problem.

I work for a large global company (not quite General Electric, but close). We do business with large global companies. World business companies write for IE. Evil twits write for IE for the same reason.
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paul b. kramarchyk
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2005, 12:00:49 PM »
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Most web devs today code to W3C web standards in XHTML+CSS which offers reduced bandwidth costs, greater interoperability, greater accessibility, easier maintenance and much greater freedom for design compared to a "traditional" HTML 4 only design that uses tables extensively. IE is by far the most problematic web browser out there if you are coding using XHTML+CSS since its implementation of CSS is p***-poor at best.

IE is quite long in the tooth (over 5 years old) and many of the issues are promised to be fixed in the upcoming v7 thanks to a bit of strong competition from FF. I never said IE can't be coded for. I simply said IE is simply a PIA to code for.

Calling IE more refined and less clunky is a matter of opinion which you are entitled to. I use FF since I find it more refined than IE for a multitude of reasons including stability. The current version of FF is far far less likely to have problems connecting to sites than IE and when WinExplorer crashes I don't loose every friggin web page I have open. That's my experience anyway in using FF since its 0.6 release.

FF isn't a Mac thing, it's a WinPC thing. The UI doesn't fit in the Mac environment. That's why they made Camino which is FF built from the ground up for Macs.

Security: Firewalls and routers don't matter since IE is given permission to access the internet it bypasses those items. If you have not run into any issues, that's good but the issue remains. I would recommend installing SpywareBlaster at the very least just in case.

Most corporations use IE because that's what comes with the computer. To use a different browser would require the IT department to perform extensive testing to ensure stability/compatability with the companies hardware/software/security setup. Then there is the time needed to install it on every computer. Many corporations do use FF but many more don't since they don't want to invest the time to do so. Basically, the larger the company, the less likely you'll see FF due to the cost of implementing it. This isn't saying FF is not good, it is just generally the procedure for any software that is used.

Anyhow I don't really care what browser you use. I'm not telling you you are wrong and I'm right. It's entirely up to you and your tastes. Browsers, like cameras are tools and each one has it's on set of benefits and minuses. Use the one you like best; I personally switch around between four of them for various tasks. There are tons to choose from (IE, FF, Opera, Mozilla, Camino, Safari, Camino, OmniWeb, and many IE spin-offs such as Avant) but IE is the only one that I tell people to be cautious about due to it's security issues.

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There are three areas for possible improvement of the font on this Forum: it isn't black enough, the letters are too thin and they are a bit sandwiched together. According to my Word program it is Tahoma 7.5. Converting it to something that everyone has and is very readable - such as Times New Roman 12 - would be considerably easier on the eyes.

Times is not a good web font. Serifs are usually best for titles only. ArsTech is a good example as it lets you switch between serif and non-serif body fonts. A non-serif font family starting with Veranda would be much more legible and is a common font on any computer. The Mac doesn't have Tahoma and so I'm currently viewing this with Veranda and it's much easier on the eyes than it is on my PC using Tahoma.

Adjusting the kerning of the fonts may help too (CSS property "letter-spacing").
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2005, 12:48:23 PM »
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I assume you mean Verdana (not Veranda). If so, yes Verdana would be an excellent choice.

Re internet security. Something I don't understand. Once one has a firewall - be it in a router or elsewhere - configured to reject certain kinds of code coming from the internet, is it not the case that IE or any other browser would not be able to transmit forbidden code into one's computer? If the answer is NO, that should ring loud alarm bells for many people. But on top of that, I have Norton AV 2005 that screens for viruses, worms, trojans, keyloggers, you name it, and also Microsoft's new Anti Spyware Beta. I also scan my computer at regular intervals and never had to remove any malicious code.  This means that either I'm lucky or the tools are working - with IE as my only web browser.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2005, 02:00:11 PM »
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Re inter
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I assume you mean Verdana (not Veranda). If so, yes Verdana would be an excellent choice.
Yes, Auto-spellcheck got me.

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Re net security. Something I don't understand. Once one has a firewall - be it in a router or elsewhere - configured to reject certain kinds of code coming from the internet, is it not the case that IE or any other browser would not be able to transmit forbidden code into one's computer? If the answer is NO, that should ring loud alarm bells for many people

The answer is No. Here is the gist of a firewall: It doesn't block specific code, it blocks traffic to and from your computer by blocking ports. In order for a program to access the internet it has to be allowed access to the internet. This is done by opening one of those ports (in the case of a web browser port 80). Once IE is given permission to bypass the router on that one port, any and all traffic to and from your computer that is transmitted through IE is allowed. Using this fact and the security holes in IE a system can be compromised.

Your router is a firewall. It flat out refuses any inbound connection to your computer unless that connection was requested by your computer or software on it. A software firewall such as ZoneAlarm or Kerio helps you manage outbound traffic by giving letting you give programs permission to access the net. This combination gives you excellent security but the software you use can still compromise that.

This is why I don't recommend using IE unless you really know what's up and are on top of security and maintenance. If IE is used, keeping up to date with security fixes is a must and using SpywareBlaster and TeaTimer (included with Spybot S&D) are very recommended.

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But on top of that, I have Norton AV 2005 that screens for viruses, worms, trojans, keyloggers, you name it, and also Microsoft's new Anti Spyware Beta.

Although better than nothing, I've found Norton (or MacAffe) to be useless in some cases. There are bugs out there that can disable them or just flat-out bypass them. If I had a nickel for every system I've had to remove viruses from that had an active copy of Norton running, I'd have a lot of nickels. Again regular updates are required.

Better and less bloated than Norton is either AVG or Nod32. Neither require a yearly subscription (AVG software itself used to be free for home use but recently they charge for it... you might be able to find a free copy floating around still. Viral definitions are still free).

The MS Anti-Spyware Beta is excellent. I'd also recommend Spybot S&D and Adaware SE to complement it too since sometimes one will miss something the others might catch.

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This means that either I'm lucky or the tools are working - with IE as my only web browser.

I'd say a combination along with some good old common sense. Some of it also has to do with the sites you visit along with what software you install or don't install.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2005, 02:41:17 PM »
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Thanks Daniel - very interesting. I actually do have Adaware and Spybot on the system, but I don't keep all this stuff running in real time. I use them for periodic sweeps. Still, I should look into those others you suggest. All said and done, I think you are right about basic common sense - alot depends on what programs, sites and email attachments are allowed access to the system. Better not to be challenged in the first place. That way whatever the browser, it won't pose much of a securityi issue.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2005, 05:11:53 PM »
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Better and less bloated than Norton is either AVG or Nod32.
I'd also like to throw in one for Norman Internet Protection, http://www.norman.com/. Although there are a few minor user interface issues, it's pretty well-behaved. I don't know their pricing policy, because my Internet-over-cable provider gives this away for free.

I've been through Norton Hades, though, and from the amount of support cases we have at work with customers using Norton, there's no way I'll recommend that package.

Your other suggestions -- AVG and Nod32 -- don't ring any warning bells with me, either as generators of support cases or security disasters, so I guess they're okay.

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The MS Anti-Spyware Beta is excellent. I'd also recommend Spybot S&D and Adaware SE to complement it too since sometimes one will miss something the others might catch.
Well, I don't think that MS Anti-Spyware Beta is excellent.

I think it's semi-okay, and that comes from two things that bug me:

1) The weekly scan report is always below the top window. Why? Sigh.

2) During some spyware scans, it decided to quarantine the registry settings for ATI's drivers and Catalyst Control Panel. There was no way of taking them out of quarantine; I had to uninstall my display drivers and reinstall.

Ad-Aware SE never gave me such problems.


And just to add to the confusion:

There have been security issues reported in Norton/Symantec ("Symantec" is the company name, and IIRC, the label they use for their business version) that have allowed malicious programs to take control over the computer.

You need at least three layers of prophylactic to feel reasonably safe against spyware and viruses on the Internet. Or a Unix, but then there's the user interface and available software issue, and you're still not exempt to the rule of having to fetch security updates regularly.

The safest is to leave the computer turned off. :cool:
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Jan
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2005, 05:30:50 AM »
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Ok, here's a desenting voice about the new HUGE font being used throughout the forum. On a Mac system using Safari there's about enough room to display 2-3 short posts on a full screen on a typical 15" laptop. This doesn't make for a very satisfying experience for those of us who don't read through coke bottle bottoms. (I concede that on the big LCD it's not so much of an issue).

How about dropping the size back one or two points?  :blues: I think we've kind of over corrected here.
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Graham
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2005, 06:33:24 AM »
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On my computer, which is a desktop using Microsoft IE and a 19 inch monitor, the font size is not bad - the style is the problem. I wonder what percentage of Forum readers are reading L-L on a Mac laptop using Safari?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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jani
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2005, 06:43:34 AM »
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Ok, here's a desenting voice about the new HUGE font being used throughout the forum. On a Mac system using Safari there's about enough room to display 2-3 short posts on a full screen on a typical 15" laptop. This doesn't make for a very satisfying experience for those of us who don't read through coke bottle bottoms. (I concede that on the big LCD it's not so much of an issue).

How about dropping the size back one or two points?  :blues: I think we've kind of over corrected here.
I think this has something to do with available fonts.

If the person responsible for ikonboard.css could please fix the font entries from the following:

font: 11pt Tahoma;

to something like this:

font: 11pt Tahoma,Helvetica,Sans-Serif;

That is, list a set of alternatives that all look okay, ending with the default Sans-Serif font of the browser, then it would be somewhat easier to deal with.

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On my computer, which is a desktop using Microsoft IE and a 19 inch monitor, the font size is not bad - the style is the problem. I wonder what percentage of Forum readers are reading L-L on a Mac laptop using Safari?
There's the big boo-boo right there, Mark. Catering for a single browser only is very, very bad web design, if you recall the reaction someone had to people designing something that worked with Firefox.

In this case, it's even worse, it's catering for people with one specific font installed, while ignoring all others.

If I had an older version of Windows installed, should I be forced to download the Tahoma font?

No!
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Jan
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2005, 06:54:34 AM »
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Jan, yes of course, for a website catering to people all over the world using everything under the sun, one needs to standardize on what is most universal and can work best for the most users. That is why I originally suggested Times New Roman, but then 61Dynamic responded that such fonts are not web-friendly; rather he suggested Verdana. I tried Verdana 12 as well as Verdana 10 bold in my Word program and they look great - strong, distinct, easy read, good letter spacing. I believe this is also a very commonly available font packaged with the applications most people use.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2005, 07:03:46 AM »
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Jan, yes of course, for a website catering to people all over the world using everything under the sun, one needs to standardize on what is most universal and can work best for the most users. That is why I originally suggested Times New Roman, but then 61Dynamic responded that such fonts are not web-friendly; rather he suggested Verdana. I tried Verdana 12 as well as Verdana 10 bold in my Word program and they look great - strong, distinct, easy read, good letter spacing. I believe this is also a very commonly available font packaged with the applications most people use.
Nopes, Verdana is yet another of those fonts that are only available in a select number of Windows versions, unless you've installed it specially. It's possible that it comes with recent versions of MacOS X, but I don't use that.

That's why I suggested Helvetica and the more general "Sans-Serif".

Arial is another possibility, since this font has been available since Windows 95, at least, and has made its way to most other platforms, if I recall correctly.
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Jan
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